Tuesday, July 1, 2014

ROBOT Uprisings - A Book Review


AI - Artificial Intelligence. Can they be trusted? What if they don't follow the Three Laws of Robotics* or any other Human imposed code of conduct?





ROBOT UPRISINGS


Including authors Cory Doctorow, Hugh Howey, Jeff Abbott, Ernest Cline, John McCarthy, and more, Robot Uprisings contains new stories based on a common theme. Open your awareness to the possibilities and the dangers that we imagine if we share our world with an entity that is manufactured, not born. Seventeen stories of which I've highlighted six authors. This is another library find; I can't refuse a book with 'robots' in the title.


A Sampling:

Cory Doctorow - Epoch

A system wide rollover is due, like Y2K, and everyone is making preparations to ride out the time, including the robots.

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Hugh Howey - Executable

Beware the reprogrammable computerized items in your home, like that little Roomba. And the fridge, the microwave. . .

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Ernest Cline - The Omnibot Incident

What if you got your own robot for Christmas? And it was better than anything you had imagined? Be cautious. When something seems better than it is, there might be a reason. . .

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John McCarthy - The Robot and the Baby

Delightful jab at future tech and privacy/freedom issues. This was fun to read, as it incorporated the media element in the future, and how little actual privacy we may have. Babies - robots don't do baby care, until now.

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Seanan McGuire - We are all Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War

A story parents should read, about a Pied Piper of the future. Educational robots - can learn as well as teach. Beware.

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Jeff Abbott - Human Intelligence

After the takeover, they wanted to understand humans. Why? To become more like us or to better break us? Someone had resisted them. They, the conquering robots, want to know why and how?

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The Theme: What you can do, we can do better OR come the robot revolution. . .


Robot Uprisings, Vintage Books, Vintage Original Series, Edited by Daniel H. Wilson, and John Joseph Adams, Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2014. Daniel writes robotic-themed novels, one of which has been slated for film by Steven Spielberg. John Joseph Adams is the editor of digital magazines Lightspeed and Nightmare, and other interesting projects.

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Would you like your own robot? Are you worried about Artificial Intelligence taking over? Have you read any of these authors I've mentioned? Or heard of them?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and thanks for visiting. I'll respond!

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References

* I. Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Laws_of_Robotics

Robots with Brains
http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/roboticexplorers/f_robotics.html

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28 comments:

  1. Well back in the 60s/70s, who didn't love Rosie the Maid on The Jetsons? Or Robot B9 from Lost in Space? But after seeing The Terminator franchise, I'd really prefer that we didn't have independently thinking robots.

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    1. Like people, JoJo, there are good robots and bad robots (remember also Transformers). I prefer that robots are used to reinforce us, rather than replace us.

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  2. Not worried about robot uprisings yet, but you never know about the future. We're getting closer to that technological reality al the time.

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    1. I don't think we have to worry until everyone has one. . .and if we let them do everything for us.

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  3. Stephen Hawkins is actually warning us of the dangers of A.I.'s I would like a robot dog. Ah, I am a child at heart. :-)

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    1. There are dangers. This book explores some of them. Who wouldn't like a forever friend? Like the little boy in Hugo. . . Hope the sleep record improves.

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  4. Hey ho, D.G., thanks for this. I must share it with Raelene of the robot love story for WEP.

    Thanks for responding to my WEP post...at least one person read it. That's why I don't usually write a post there. Looks like I'm going to have to stoop to sending out a bulk email :((

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    1. I happened to be there looking for that new badge for July and saw the News. Most of the stories in that book are great.

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  5. I haven't read any of those authors, but your questions definitely weigh heavily on my mind.

    I think I'll pass on the robot companion for now.

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    1. First, I'd like to know who is doing the programming, but it does make one pause if they can learn from every action how to BE like us, but stronger.

      Our hope or our fear? Do we need robots doing work if people need jobs? Robotics raises many questions.

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  6. This sounds really interesting. I loved the movie, I. Robot, which I believe is based on one of Asimov's books.

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    1. Exactly, Susan. It's one of my favorites. Do you remember that scene in the tunnel? That and a few others great shots were filmed here in Vancouver and New Westminster, BC.

      Asimov generally painted a benign image of robots being integrated into society. This book of stories, Robot Uprisings shows our fears and hopes.

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  7. Hi DG .. this sort of thing I avoid and can't be bothered about - if I'm lucky I'll have gone before serious damage gets done - but with what's going on at the moment - I'm not so sure ...

    Still Cory Doctorow I've read articles of his in the past .. and this does sound an interesting collection of writers .. and one at some stage I should look at .. and get their take on robots ...

    It's coming ... I guess I'll start to take an interest sometime! Cheers Hilary

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    1. It's imagination partly, and reality partly. Think military drones, but could they be domestic drones that keep the public in line, too? Robots in factories and little Roombas too. . .it does bear thinking about. I understand your feelings though, Hilary.

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  8. Honestly I am leery of AI. It seems for every tech advance we make we lose something. I think because it is encroaching on our lives and our future these stories are appropriate and, probably, riveting. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. We should be leery of creating something capable of resisting us (I think Robocop, bad transformers, etc). I wanted to see what the modern writers were saying about robots. After all, some of what I write is scifi. Got to know the competition. . .

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  9. I wouldn't mind a robot, but the term robot is so broad, I think it would depend on what it was programmed to do. I think AI is inevitable, and part of human evolution. Humans have this thirst/need to push back the boundaries of human limitations and I believe it will be AI that will usher humans into the post-human era. I don't think it can be stopped. Thanks for the list, I'll have to check out a few of these... :)

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    1. Post-human era sounds interesting, Elise, that too, could take in many interpretations. l agree, it may be inevitable. This collection has some great stories in it. Some are better than others, as in all collections.

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  10. This anthology has been on my radar -- I should add it to my reading queue. I used to think having a robo-servant would be cool until I saw Terminator and The Matrix.

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    1. I was lured by the big names: Cory Doctorow, Hugh Howey, and others, but It's interesting to see the variations on the theme. I still want a robot, but not a killer robot with an agenda.

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  11. The concept intimidates me. But I would like to have Rosie from the Jetsons, as my maid.

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    1. Rosie always appealed to me too, as long as she doesn't go rogue.

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  12. Can't say that I'm concerned about a "robot uprising" but I can understand the popularity of the theme. We are so dependent on technology that it can be difficult to do some things now without it. Generally speaking, I think people are becoming stupider and relying on A.I.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. If we relinquish our decisions to an AI, we forfeit an important part of what makes us human.

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  13. Just came by again, D.G. to enquire how your husband is faring? I do hope all is well.

    Denise

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    1. I'll email you, Denise. I wanted to ask a WEP question.

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  14. I don't think I could ever trust artificial intelligence. Some of the sci-fi scenarios that are out there are just plain creepy!

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    1. Like people, there could be good AI and 'bad boy' robots. If there were humanoid robots, would we know the difference?

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